WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Nov. 12, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received an $8.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) to develop an all-optical fixed undersea surveillance system that uses light rather than electrical current.

The 24-month development program will culminate in an at-sea demonstration and validation of Northrop Grumman's deep water, all-optical, acoustic system.

"This competitive award solidifies Northrop Grumman's position as the industry leader in the emerging all-optical acoustic sensor technology field," said William J. Allison, vice president and general manager of the company's Navigation Systems Division. "Successful completion of this development program will place Northrop Grumman in an excellent competitive position for subsequent production programs."

The Navy and Northrop Grumman began developing this technology in the early 1980's as a potential replacement for the decades-old electromechanical/copper wire-based technology systems. According to SPAWAR, this new all-optical technology offers the potential for lower cost and higher reliability.

Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division has been a leader in the development of all-optical (fiber optic) acoustic technology for over 15 years. The division currently produces the Lightweight Wide Aperture Array, a large, all-optical acoustic array system slated for the Navy's latest Virginia Class nuclear attack submarines.

The Navigation Systems Division is part of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore, Md.-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics and systems, including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

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